This month I am continuing our Effortless Leadership series with its fifth pillar. Up to now, we have discussed several other pillars that represent the characteristics and traits a leader would want to adopt in order to have an effortless leadership approach to running teams or their business. Or in fact, running their life.
In the fifth pillar, I am focusing on a subject called the Pursuit of Knowledge. Where the previous elements related to characteristics, traits or a state of mind, the Pursuit of Knowledge is a more fact-based approach to leadership. In this blog, I discuss what a leader needs to do to convince their team and those around them that they actually have the knowledge and skills required to lead. This is a technical trait and an element of what studies you might do, what you might have studied already and what tasks you may be good at. These traits quantify and qualify you to your team as somebody who comes from a place of knowledge. This is that space where you as a leader, have an upper hand by having the information, the know-how and the experience and therefore the confidence to know that you do not need to bluff nor feel like you are pretending. It gives you the confidence to lead with the clarity of knowing that you have got what it takes.
Let me give you an example from the sports arena. If you look at one of the leading rugby league players, Cooper Cronk, some of the traits he gets commented on is that he is tenacious at the level of training he does, always first at training and last to leave. He does many hours of training in excess of what is required. But more importantly, he studies the game, its history, its current place and the play.
Then again, if you are an electrician, for example, to become a leader in your field you want to know the technical aspects of being an electrician. It is what you would have your qualifications on but you would want to take that to the next level by constantly upgrade your knowledge. You would continue to pursue that knowledge by further education, by further reading and by exploring the future techniques that are being discussed in the community or association of electricians. You keep going. So, the Pursuit of Knowledge is that element of technical continuation, technical development and technical growth.
The other part of a Pursuit of Knowledge is that you approach life with a Curious Mind. The Pursuit of Knowledge as a leader doesn’t come just from the technical knowledge that I just mentioned, it also comes from having a Curious Mind so that you are always looking to understand more and expand what you already know.
The curiosity of mind also comes from how you approach conversations with others. Be inquisitive, especially with those with higher skills than you and ask questions about how they got that additional skill set. Curiosity will open you to attract mentors in your life as they will see you as a person who has a quest for knowledge. They will happily open up and share their knowledge with you.
Another element of curiosity opens up how you talk to your team members. If you are an existing leader, your team members will flourish when you ask questions. Ask questions about them, their intentions, their lives and what they are seeking to achieve. That curiosity creates a great connection and bond between you and your team and therefore, the knowledge you gained by learning more about your team will make you a better leader.
Curiosity as a leader is also that space that keeps your mind open for what your competitors are doing, what your suppliers are doing, what the industry is doing and what the economic environment is doing. The pursuit of knowledge of what is happening around you externally will be a great tool which gives you the continual growth in strategically growing your business, on how to align yourself and how to continuously come from a place of strength and opportunity.
When you do a SWOT analysis, you are using a knowledge building tool to some degree. Whether you do a SWOT analysis on yourself, your business or the environment around you, you are coming from a place where you are gathering and building knowledge. You are curious about all those elements that surround you.
To recap the Pursuit of Knowledge and a Curious Mindset; it is a fantastic place to be, a fantastic position to hold. It elevates you to z position of power where you are coming from a space of solid information and experience. You are coming from a place where you always have an open, curious mind and you want to learn and develop yourself. It gives you the space where you don’t come across as being arrogant or closed. You are always hungry to know more whether that might be about your staff, your team members or anything else in life and that is a fantastic trait as a leader. You gain influence on those around you, a great connection and comradery and a deeper sense of fulfilment in your life and journey.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you continue to follow our series. In next month’s effortless leadership blog, I will talk about the subject of how to bring in the heart in your leadership approach.